The antifungal and antifeedant activity of bryophytes is widely known, but mainly from in vitro studies. The first in vivo experiments have been performed at Bonn University. Alcoholic extracts of all twenty bryophytes used had an effect on a variety of crops infected with different fungi. Two liverworts showed systemic effects. Based on these results, commercial products from bryophytes have been developed and are sold in Germany. Additional field experiments using extracts derived from native bryophyte species were successfully completed in Peru and Bolivia. Bryophyte extract also has effects on human pathogenic fungi and may cure skin diseases, but currently are not sold for that purpose. However, a patent has been obtained to cure fungal infections of horses with bryophyte extract. This same extract shows antifeedant effects against slugs.
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Vol. 107 • No. 3